Apollo Hospitals approached the Madras High Court seeking a stay on the Commission’s proceedings alleging breach of jurisdiction.

Can continue inquiry into Jayalalithaas death Madras HC to Arumugasamy commission
news Jayalalithaa death probe Saturday, February 23, 2019 - 08:41

The Madras High Court on Friday told the Arumugasamy Commission that they can continue enquiring into the death of former Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa. The court said that no restrictions have been placed on the commission's methods of investigation - this even as a hearing in connection to the case proceeds. This direction comes after the counsel for Apollo Hospitals requested time to file a rejoinder in the case following the commission’s response to their allegations of breach of jurisdiction.

On February 9, Apollo Hospitals approached the Madras High Court seeking a stay on the Commission’s proceedings relating to medical treatment provided to her. The petition filed by Apollo hospital at the Madras High Court came down heavily on the Commission, accusing it of going beyond its jurisdiction of inquiry. The strongly worded petition states that the Commission has digressed from its original purpose.

“The scope of the inquiry was for the 2nd respondent (Commission) to confine itself to gathering facts on the circumstances and situation leading to Late Hon’ble Chief Minister’s hospitalisation and subsequent treatment. It was not to go into the efficacy, correctness and adequacy or inadequacy of treatment,” reads the petition.

Apollo Hospital, in its petition, stated that the Commission’s inquiry has progressively become accusatorial, questioning the integrity and even the medical knowledge and competency of the medical witnesses of Apollo. Mentioning the fact that the Commission in one of its petitions had stated that its duty was to analyse complex medical facts and not medical experts, Apollo reiterated that the Commission was behaving like a consumer forum trying a medical negligence case.

“The inquiry lacks impartiality and objectivity and instead is vitiated by prejudiced, pre-determined and baseless conclusions in conducting the inquiry,” the petition states.

Referring to the Commission’s decision to call for medical records of former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu MG Ramachandran, Apollo submitted that the manner in which the inquiry is progressing reiterates the arbitrary nature of the Commission. The hospital further slammed the Commission for analysing the efficacy and correctness of the treatment given to Jayalalithaa, which is not a part of the purpose outlined for the Commission.

Responding to these allegations, the counsel for the commission, which responded last week, termed Apollo's allegations baseless and pointed out that transcripts of all testimonies were shared with those deposed before the commission.

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